Modern employee development - Part 1

In the race for the best minds, an innovative strategy for employee development is essential for the positioning of employers. However, the road to profitably incorporating incentive measures into a company is not an easy one. In addition to interdepartmental cooperation, it also requires tactfulness for the employees. In my recent blog post, you can learn how to gain the long-term loyalty of your employees using modern means and procedures.

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Employee development – a win for companies 

For most executives, employee development is a common term. However, it is only applied correctly by a few. Only when employees leave the company, is the personnel department faced with the problem of finding suitable candidates for the vacant positions. With strategic personnel development, which also includes employee development, both large corporations and SMEs have the chance to keep the top candidates and promote them according to their qualifications. A study by the University of Cologne and the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) shows that in 2015, 42% of employees underwent training; in 2013, this was only 34%.1 In addition to employee development, employee motivation and the balance between work and leisure are central themes for employee retention and business success.

Do you know your employees?

Knowing one’s employees and their individual abilities and social skills is an important prerequisite for modern leadership. A regularly scheduled feedback session can help you learn something about your employee. Using a questionnaire and special interview techniques, you will be able to determine the qualifications of your employees in a consistent manner. As in every business sector, communication plays a crucial role at this point. The feedback sessions, the evaluation of the employee survey, and discussions of individual employment possibilities should always be done in private. Individual training needs can also be addressed. The results of the discussions will help you to plan training measures. It should be noted that the contents of the feedback sessions as well as the planned and completed training sessions are always documented by the personnel department.

The social skills (e.g. teamwork, communication skills, and empathy) of the individual employees are also documented. These are only partly tangible but are revealed in the course of employee discussions and team training sessions. Organised team event (e.g. climbing or geo-caching) support the cohesion of the employees and also help to highlight the strengths of each employee. We also plan industry-specific events for employees. These include soapbox races and even building rockets. Because team events may entail higher costs, it is advisable to consider the team training when planning the annual budget.

employee discussions

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New models for employee development

In addition to team training, there are other ways to promote the team and the individual employees. With the help of the HBDI®-thinking style analysis , ARTS has determined the strengths and thinking styles of employees. This is incorporated into the employee development and can help employees discover their strengths.

In order to work independently, a colleague and I have received qualifications for the HBDI method. So we are now able to analyse the strengths and the qualifications of our employees and to use these systematically. HBDI®-thinking style analysis is not only useful for the individual development of each employee but also for improving collaboration in the team. The creation of team profiles reveals the particular strengths and weaknesses of the team. Building on this, corporate projects can be staffed and implemented according to strengths.

In addition to the analyses, small incentives can boost employee motivation. The introduction of gift cards or other incentives does not directly concern employee development. Nevertheless, this can motivate employees and create a positive working atmosphere. Employees feel valued by these measures and thus remain loyal to the company.

Creating a symbiosis between corporate strategy and employee development

A corporate strategy is important for the entire company as well as employee development. Each employee should recognise this in order to be act in an entrepreneurial manner. It is important for employees to know the objectives and why they are working and training and understand the deeper meaning behind this. Open communication is essential for this. In this context, managers are encouraged to be transparent i.e. to draw attention to current and future events through meetings, emails, and Internet posts. Current and future requirements of the company can thus be perceived and processed by the employees. Active communication with employees should also not be disregarded. Social spaces, including a cosy coffee kitchen and a retreat for confidential talks or an internal corporate chat create a sense of belonging among employees. In the next part of the blog article, you can read how to support your staff with the help of strategic personnel development.

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